WordPress 5.7 Beta 1 was released this week on schedule and is ready for wider testing. This release will introduce 68 new features and enhancements, dozens of bug fixes, and versions 9.3 – 9.9 of the Gutenberg plugin.
A few of the highlights expected in 5.7 include the following:
- Lazy-load iframes: When WordPress 5.4 added lazy loading for images, contributors discussed extending this to iframes as well. Now that the
iframetags has been added to the HTML standard, it will be supported in core in 5.7.
- Streamlined migration from HTTP to HTTPS: WordPress can now detect if a user’s hosting environment supports HTTPS and enables a one-click update process, handling mixed content rewrites where possible.
- Standardize colors used in WP-Admin CSS to a single palette: WordPress is implementing a CSS custom properties system that will make it easier to add custom color schemes.
- Ongoing cleanup after update to jQuery 3.5.1
- New Robots API: This new API allows developers to centrally manage the content of the
robotsmeta tag injected into the page, and includes a setting to toggle whether search engines are allowed to display large media from the site. By default, a
max-image-preview:largerobots directive which will be injected into the
robotsmeta tag based on the new setting.
These features need testing, along with the host of updates rolling over from the Gutenberg plugin. The editor is getting the most visible enhancements in 5.7, with features like dragging blocks and block patterns from the inserter into the canvas, major improvements to the buttons block, new social icons, and much more.
The official release is expected in just under five weeks on March 9, 2021. Testing is a critical part of the process for making WordPress better with each update. The easiest way to get in on that is to install the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (set to the
Bleeding edge channel and the
Beta/RC Only stream), or download and install the zip of the beta version.